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The Heavenly Pattern

The Heavenly Pattern

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By C. I. Scofield, D. D.

"See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the
pattern shewed to thee in the mount." — Hebrews 8:5
By C. I. Scofield, D. D.

"See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the
pattern shewed to thee in the mount." — Hebrews 8:5

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Aug 19, 2013
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THE HEAVE LY PATTER By C. I. Scofield, D. D.

"See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount." — Hebrews 8:5 WE have in the book of Exodus the account of that visit which Moses paid to Jehovah Himself in the excellent glory above Mount Sinai — a visit lasting forty days and forty nights, during which time Moses received from God most explicit instructions concerning a tabernacle which he was to make for the particular dwelling place of Jehovah among his people. And not only did he receive instructions, as we might say, specifications, concerning the structure of that building, but he also saw the heavenly things, the heavenly purpose, the great truths of which that building, when it should be finished, would be but a type, a kind of parable in gold and linen and brass and silver. In other words, Moses was invited up into the presence of God and into the vision of the heavenly things in order that he might reproduce in type the things which he had seen. Again and again was given to him the solemn exhortation: "See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount." — Hebrews 8:5 269

270 I MA Y PULPITS othing, absolutely nothing was left to Moses'

originality or initiative. A perfect plan was given to him and the most elaborate and detailed instructions as to execution of the plan, and his responsibility began and ended with strict and implicit obedience to the instructions which he had received. And my purpose is to try and draw from that event, to which our text refers, its central and permanent truth, — that Moses was commissioned to build something on earth that should be exactly like something in heaven. Just so, we are set in the world to have visions, to go up into the mount, to see, in the presence of God, the divine truth concerning human life, and then to work it out into character and conduct. I think it may be said without exaggeration, without qualification, that in a very real, thorough, broad sense, this sums up the thought of Christian living and of the purpose of God in our redemption. ow I believe it may help a little, if we think upon that singular building which Moses was commissioned to build. What may we learn from the tabernacle in the wilderness that shall help us in reproducing, in character and conduct, heavenly things? The commission to Moses was that it was to be beautiful. The life that you and I are commissioned to live, and the character you and I are under responsibility to form, must then be, first of all, beautiful. There have been many ideals of character and each of them, no doubt, so formed under Christian

WITH DR. C. I. SCOFIELD 271 influence that they contain important elements of truth. The Puritan character was, in many respects,

most admirable. It had in it elements of strength, of sincerity, of simplicity, of great loyalty to God and of obedience to what they understood to be the will of God. o fragmentary form of character could be more noble than the Puritan ideal; and yet, as we look closely at that ideal, and as we measure it up against Christ, we begin to see that it is lacking precisely in this element of beauty. I might go on and refer to other ideals of character which have been formed by the people of God, but let us rather pass by all these incomplete and unsymmetrical visions of life and think of Jesus Christ. In Him there is nothing lacking, nothing in excess. Jesus Christ was perfectly strong. o Puritan was ever such a rock-man as He, and yet there was nothing hard or repelling in Christ's firmness; it was clothed in gentleness, and because He was supremely strong, He could be supremely gentle, patient, and sympathetic. In everything God makes there is first of all order, then comes symmetry. You remember in the 21st chapter of Revelation the description of the heavenly Jerusalem and its proportions; the breadth and the length and the height of it were equal. That is God's idea of symmetry. First of all, then, that tabernacle was beautiful, and it was beautiful because there was an ordered harmony in it. Everything was beautiful. And if we are reproducing the heavenly character here, then will, according to the prayer of the Psalmist,

272 I MA Y PULPITS "the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us:" — Psalms go: 17 I should say the second characteristic which we

need to notice in the tabernacle built by Moses was its costliness. It was not a cheap thing which Moses built. God did not propose that the building in which His glory was in a very particular and local way to be manifested — and in itself a type of the costliest of all costly offerings, Jesus Christ — should be without cost. Everything in it was of the most precious materials. The very boards were overlaid with gold, solid gold. The seven-branched candlestick was of gold. There was embroidery of purple and scarlet and red and blue with costliest work. The Holy Spirit endowed the craftsmen with more than earthly wisdom and skill that they might carve and embroider and engrave the beautiful details of that edifice. Splendid jewels flashed from the breast-plate of the high priest and glittered upon his shoulders. Infinite skill of weaving and carving went into it. The first thought was beauty then, and the second, costliness. So these lives of ours will be heavenly in proportion as cost has gone into them. First of all, the unspeakable, the holy, the immeasurable gift and cost of our redemption. The costliest gift that heaven had was given for us, and we shall never come to the acme of Christian character and life without sacrifice — the best and costliest we have to give. It costs the renunciation of the lesser that we may have

WITH DR. C. I. SCOFIELD 273 the greater, that we may grasp the choicest things and build them into character. The third striking characteristic of the tabernacle that I should like to mention is that its beauty was chiefly inward. All the glory of the gold, and all the beauty of the engravers ' and weavers' and em-

broiderers ' art was covered from outward observation. Christ was like that. He was not a man of marvelous beauty of visage and outward splendor of appearance: "When we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him."- — Isaiah 53:2 Here, eminently, is a lesson for our day. The great temptation is to make religion a matter of externalities alone; but to be rather than to do, is the central thought of God with regard to the character of His people; to be beautiful within. There is the danger of hypocrisy, the danger that we shall seem to be more devoted, more consecrated, more engaged with the things of God than we really are; and if I read aright the mind of Christ, there is nothing for which He feels such an aversion as for hypocrisy. And the* essence of hypocrisy is trying to seem to be a little sweeter, a little better, a little more devoted than we really are. When Moses came down from his forty days' visit with Jehovah, he had caught the very radiance of God's glory, but "Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone" — Exodus 34: 2Q

274 I MA Y PULPITS There is nothing more odious than self-conscious piety. And the tabernacle was not a very great or imposing structure. The smallest chapel in St. Peter's at Rome would hold it. Does the application not make itself? We are not called so much to be and do

something great or imposing, as to beautify our place in life. You and I are not very important individuals ; we are called to build the tabernacle of character in the lowly walks of life, — we are not filling very exalted stations. We are likely to be called upon to build just along some dusty highway, where the great mass of men must walk and suffer and serve, than to build it upon some heaven-kissed peak where the whole world shall see it. In modern life there is a great desire to be conspicuous. It influences us like a vice. We want to be known. We want to be pillars. But, have you ever thought that the chinking stones are just as essential in the temple which God is building, as the great massive columns that rest upon them, but which all men can see? What does it matter, after all, for a few brief years, where we are or what work we are engagd in, if only it be we are like Christ as we move among men. Lastly I want to remark upon our supreme danger. It is that we shall change the plan. The repeated exhortation to Moses was, — "See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount." — Hebrews 8<$

WITH DR. C. I. SCOFIELD 275 Just because of the danger that Moses would forget it and change it later on. So there is danger, that as we recede from the place of vision, and as the vision itself becomes dulled in our memories, we shall build lesser, baser things than the vision demands. And perhaps the place at which failure enters is at that point where we want to substitute brass for gold, even wood for brass. And especially too, when Chris-

tian ideals are lowered by the infusion of pagan ideals; — heathen philosophies in the pulpit, and pretty little formulas for Christian living that might have come bodily out of any pagan religion. The danger is that we shall build less of gold, and fine linen, and purple and scarlet and blue; that we shall put paste jewels into the breast-plate of the high priest; that we shall forget, in the little things, to make life and character acording to the pattern that was shown to us by Christ. "But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands" — Hebrews g:n "It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these: For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true: but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:" — Hebrews 9:23, 24

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